DUKE ELLINGTON MUSIC SOCIETY
08/2 August-November 2008
Our 30th Year of Publication
FOUNDER: BENNY AASLAND
Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83
NEW RELEASES AND RE-RELEASES
Duke Ellington - Live at Carnegie Hall, December 1944
This is a release by a company, Pristine Audio, which specializes in cleaning and sonically improving early Classical music. They have also issued a few Jazz and Blues items, including this Ellington and a really remarkable Louis Armstrong issue.
Full details at: http://www.pristineclassical.com
You may already be aware of this issue but I don't recall noting anything in DEMS Bulletin or in the discussion group. It actually seems to be track for track reissue of part of the Prestige Carnegie Hall 1943-1944 Concerts but they claim to have made speed corrections after picking up a residual 60mHz mains hum. However, on a short listen, I don't notice a difference. Perhaps a parallel listen will show it up. What I will say however is that there does seem to be an immediacy that isn't present, to me, in the Prestige release. I have to say though that their Louis Armstrong issue is revelatory. I hadn't expected to hear better than the Frémeaux et Associés release of early King Oliver and Armstrong tracks but the XR system certainly seems to extract far more than other systems have managed.
Swing Is the Thing
According to a review in VJM 148 (Winter 2007), the recently-released CD anthology "Swing is the Thing, a Decade of Classic Recording 1932-42" (Retrieval 79053) contains a "fresh" Ellington take: Creole Love Call mx. BX11264B (11Feb32).
The rather rare take B of St. Louis Blues by Bing Crosby from the same session is also on this nice CD. For me it's the first time I found Bing's take B on a CD. Harry Coster did a great job with the audio restoration. The liner notes are by Dick Sudhalter.
It may not surprise you at first sight, but then again it may. The total time of this CD is 70 min. but it has only 16 tracks. All the recordings are taken from original 12 inch 78 rpm’s. They brought back nice memories from the time when I started collecting before I concentrated on Duke Ellington.
Here is a listing of the tracks:
Ellington, 11Feb32, originally on Brunswick 20105:
1. St. Louis Blues take -B
2. Creole Love Call take –B
Fats Waller, originally on Victor 36206:
3. Honeysuckle Rose 9Apr37 take -1
6. Blue, Turning Grey over You 9Jun37 take -1
Tommy Dorsey, originally on Victor 36207:
4. Stop, Look and Listen 15Apr37 take -1
5. Beale Street Blues 26May37 take -2
Benny Goodman, 6Jul37, originally on Victor 36205:
7&8. Sing, Sing, Sing (Parts 1 and 2) take -2
Bunny Berigan, 7Aug37, originally on Victor 36208:
9. I Can’t Get Started take -1
10. The Prisoner’s Song take -1
Bob Crosby, 16Nov37, originally on Decca 15038:
11. South Rampart Street Parade take –A
12. Dogtown Blues take –A
Artie Shaw, 17Dec40, originally on Victor 36383:
13&14. Concerto for Clarinet (Parts 1 and 2) take -1
Bob Crosby, 17Feb42, originally on Decca 15064:
15. Chain Gang take –A
16. Ec Stacy take -A
Storyville 903 9013
The Treasury Shows Volume 13
See DEMS 05/3-46
It has taken quite a while after Volume 12 for Volume 13 to appear. Nicely timed for the 2008 conference in London, Volume 13 has come out 63 years after I heard some of this music through the Armed Forces Radio Network in Germany in the programs "Date with the Duke" #54, #55 and #56; and 26 years after the first broadcast came out on the DETS LP 24 (see DEMS 82/5-2) and 25 years after the second broadcast on DETS LP 25 (see DEMS 83/1-1). Thus, another generation has passed. Let's hope that the series will be re-issued yet again for my great-grandchildren after another quarter of a century. The music is classic and for all generations. With the release of these DETS broadcasts, Jerry Valburn with the help of Jack Towers, erected the biggest statue possible for Ellington.
My dear friend Lance Travis wrote the liner-notes, and he did a great job. I have read his original manuscript and I wonder why some of his texts have been mutilated to the extent that they have become baloney. On the first page of his liner-notes you find: “This performance I hazard to suggest was the only time on one specific day that influenced Duke to write a suite.” It should have read: “This performance I hazard to suggest was the only time one specific day was to influence Duke to write a suite.”
Shortly thereafter we read in the booklet: “Originally intended only for Her Majesty’s music collection, gratefully, we all have this music now in our collections.” This should have been: “Originally intended only for Her Majesty’s music collection, the Duke kept a copy, and, gratefully, we all have now this music in our collections.”
If you insert “changed to Victory Bonds. Duke recorded, amongst others – “ between War Bonds and The Perfume Suite in the second column on the second page of the liner-notes it will make more sense. You will find these words just a little further on with again a mention of the same titles, this time between quotation marks. I can very well understand that Lance is upset because of this horrible treatment of his manuscript resulting in garbage like: “At the movies you could watch “The Bells “King” Of St Mary’s” and…”
There are many more errors in the liner-notes, but this seems enough. Here I continue with my own remarks about the long awaited release. If you want to read the original notes as written, I can send you as an attachment Lance’s text.
The opening selection, Someone, starts a bit awkwardly. Comparing it with a tape recording from the Joe Igo collection, I find that the reason is the fact that the acetate was damaged at the start. This part was deleted on both the original DETS LP and also on this CD.
Since there has been some rumour about the quality of a few of these DETS CDs, I can assure you that this Volume 13 is superb. It could not be any better. But more importantly, the music is overwhelmingly great.
We would like to congratulate Jack Towers on a superb result. As you know Jack is not only famous for the Fargo recordings but also for producing master tape works for many big companies, both in the USA and in Europe. We are fortunate to have him handling the Treasury Shows.
Benny Aasland (in DEMS 82/5-2)
Storyville 101 8402
Duke Ellington . New York New York
Another tremendous CD consisting entirely of unissued material from the stockpile (76.5 minutes!), selected and annotated by Bjarne Busk. Thanks to Bjarne who made it possible for our Italian friends to include these recordings in their New DESOR, we can give you the DESOR number for each selection.
1. REXT -42 27Apr70 7034z
2. Flute -10 8Jun70 7043k
3. SOFT - 8 15Jun70 7044d
4. MIXT -26 15Jun70 7044s
5. Alerado - 4 9Jul70 7053c
6. Afrique - 2 9Jul70 7053e
7. Second Line 23Jul70 7061d
8. R.T.M. - 2 9Dec70 7089b
9. Sophisticated Lady - 3 9Dec70 7089c
10. Big Luv -12 9Dec70 7089j
11. I Got It Bad -11 11Dec70 7090p
12. Looking for My Man -39 3Feb71 7105d
13. No Title -38 11Feb71 7106am
14. Pretty Girl -37 5May71 7126b
15. Dreaming by the Fire -47 5May71 7126l
16. Pat Your Feet -53 5May71 7126o
17. Mood Indigo - 3 12Jun72 7225g
18. I'm Afraid (nc) -15 5Sep72 7245q
(nc) I'm Afraid (coda) -22 5Sep72 7245z
19. New York, New York -25 5Sep72 7245ac
Track 1. The discographical notes for the first selection are not completely correct. According to the New DESOR halfway through the session (before the start of Aristocracy à la Jean Lafitte) Mercer Ellington took over from Money Johnson. Also, it was not Malcolm Taylor who played in the trombone section, but his namesake Dave Taylor, who played the bass trombone. See DEMS 05/2-37p1497 and 05/3-57, correction on page 570.
Track 3. Erik Wiedemann believed that SOFT is part 12 of "The River", although Duke mentioned The Spring as the last part.
Track 5. The title is dedicated to Alexandre Rado who supervised recordings in Paris on 6Jul70 with Paul Gonsalves, Cat Anderson, Norris Turney, Wild Bill Davis (as Prince Woodyard), Joe Benjamin and Art Taylor. The LP that came out was titled "Paul Gonsalves and his All Stars". Track 3 was titled Alerado, composed by Wild Bill Davis (see Alexandre Rado's obituary, written by François Moulé and published in DEMS Bulletin 97/3-2).
Track 8. Many tape collectors have given the name Rhythmal Roof to R.T.M. It seems to mean: Rufus Jones, Norris Turney, and Malcolm Taylor.
Track 9. The take of Sophisticated Lady, which was issued on Pablo, is not from this session, but from 11Dec70.
With the exception of tracks 9, 18 and 19, all the recordings have been used for different broadcasts over the Danish Radio. In the broadcast, track 13 was not complete at the start. Only tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 have been "released" in the past on DEMS cassettes. Fanatic collectors may have acquired through DEMS on cassettes some of these recordings, but as fanatic collectors, they will doubtless not miss the chance to replace their vulnerable cassettes with this very tastefully presented CD. A second compelling reason to buy this beautiful CD is the simple fact that our market for Ellington releases is so small that we should support one of the few record producers who still takes the risk to release this valuable music.
Duke Ellington in London 1958
Ellington 2008 commemorating double CD
For the occasion of the 20th Duke Ellington Conference on 22-26May08, the organizing committee released a double CD, which contains a copy of the double LP, released in 1988 for the Ellington Conference in Oldham. The order in which the selections were copied is exactly the same as on the double LP, which means that it is not the same order in which the selections were played. The sound is unimproved; the earlier 1988 release on the double LP was also over-recorded. It is a pity that some of the unreleased selections missing from the old double LP did not replace some of the released ones. See for titles and comments on the double LP DEMS Bulletin 88/5 pages 4 and 5.
The price of the double CD was very reasonable: only 10 GBP. They are still available for 14 GBP including mailing expenses for any destination. Go to www.ellington2008.org.
Mixed feelings about new "The Best of Duke Ellington" 4 CD set
During my regular check of Amazon for new Ellington CD's I came across a new "The Best of Duke Ellington". Most of the time I skip these. But this one caught my attention as the cover said 1932-1939, 4 CD set and it has the Columbia and RCA logo's on the cover. This made me look at the track list. CD's 1, 3 and 4 no surprises. But CD 2 has track: 1. Ebony Rhapsody (Rehearsal for "Murder at the Vanities") and track 2. Ebony Rhapsody pt. 2.
The other 93 tracks are from ARC-Brunswick and Daybreak Express from Victor. There are 100 sides in total because the two parts of both versions of Ebony Rhapsody and the four of Reminiscing in Tempo are presented as one track each. There are 95 tracks. All selections are by the orchestra. The sound quality is excellent.
At 9,99 Euro's I ordered the set immediately and it arrived the next day (BOL.com in the Netherlands). This set has been issued by Sony BMG. It is produced by Michael Brooks. The 78 rpm transfers are by Harry Coster and Matt Cavaluzzo. Digital sound restoration: Harry Coster. The liner notes are by Bruce Talbot. (There is a mistake in the notes; it says that Ellington's contract with ARC-Brunswick ended with Country Gal but after the session of 16oct39 there were 3 more ARC-Brunswick sessions: 22Nov39, 14Fev40 (last with the orchestra) and 15Feb40.)
The two Ebony Rhapsody versions are in the New DESOR as 3403a and 3403b. These recordings have been discussed in the DEMS bulletins 03/2-7/2 and 03/3-18/1.
But now my mixed feelings. For whom is this collection intended? The folder (no proper booklet) has a short survey of the period but no discographical data at all, except some information on the four "unissued" tracks. Is this for the more or less casual buyer or the seasoned Ellington collector? It seems to aim at both categories. Will a casual buyer be interested in two takes of any tune? Does an Ellington collector need 4 CD's, for just 2 or 3 tracks? I have nothing against compilations in themselves. There must be different editions for different types of listeners.
Another concern is whether this set will get in the way of a future Mosaic set on the 1932-1940 period.
The other "unissued" tracks have previously been issued:
On CD1 track 6 is Creole Love master (mx BX11264-B). This was issued last year on "Swing Is The Thing" a collection of 12" recordings by various bands (Retrieval 79053).
On CD 4 track 21 is Grievin' (mx WM1064-A). Issued on LP Raretone 23004 "Duke Ellington 1939", CBS (F) 88521 "The Complete Duke Ellington vol. 14" and on CD Classics 780 "1939 vol.2".
A small bonus: Scattin' at the Cotton Club is with the trumpet introduction. This was previously only on the Franklin Mint LP set.
I have very recently acquired a copy of a 4 CD set released by Sony/BMG called "The Best of Duke Ellington (1932 - 1939)". It features "Original Masters", mostly Columbia but with 2 previously unissued RCA Victor tracks of rehearsals for "Murder at The Vanities". Both are described as Ebony Rhapsody - part 2 and are differing versions of the same basic material. The first lasts 5m 20s, the second 5m 03s. They were given matrix numbers 73093 - 1 and 73094 - 1, respectively. I cannot remember seeing anything about these rehearsals before except, of course, in Stratemann and I suppose they must date from 26 Feb 34.
The only Columbia piece on the CDs that is "new" is take -B of the Feb 1932 Creole Love Call. Well, it was new to me!
If you go to the Correction-sheets on the depanorama web-site (see 08/2-34) you will find on sheet 1053 the new session 3403 from 26Feb34 and on sheet 2004 the descriptions of these four takes. The matrix numbers 79093 - 1 and 79094 - 1 belong to 3403 a and b respectively. I guess that you made a slight typo. The two (still unreleased) takes c and d carry the matrix numbers 79105 - 1 and 79106 - 1.
AVID Jazz AMSC 937 (2CD)
Duke Ellington: Three Classic Albums & More
Historically Speaking - The Duke; Duke Ellington Presents; Ellington 55
plus 11 tracks from Apr53
The Bethlehem album “Historically Speaking – The Duke” had 12 tracks. Its companion album “Duke Ellington Presents” had 11 tracks. The album Ellington ’55 had 8 tracks. The 11 tracks from Apr53 are 2 tracks from 6Apr (Satin Doll, Cocktails for Two), 5 from 7Apr (Three Little Words, Stardust, My Old Flame, I Can’t Get Started, Stormy Weather) and 4 from 9Apr (Warm Valley, Liza, Flamingo and Boo-Dah).
Previously released Bethlehem CDs have been mentioned in DEMS 88/1-1 and TDES Newsletter of Sep90. An “Ellington ’55” re-release on CD was mentioned in 99/5-19/2, but with 8 tracks, not 10. Of course, all the Capitol selections were included in the 96 tracks Mosaic 5 CD box MD5-160 last mentioned in 07/3-22.
The popular Jo Stafford died on 16Jul08. Because she never appeared with Ellington, we have not put that sad news in the beginning of this Bulletin. She has however made three sessions on 15Jul, 1Aug and 10Aug60 with a group of five Ellingtonians: Ray Nance, Lawrence Brown, Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster and Harry Carney and seven other musicians: Don Fagerquist and Conte Condoli; Russ Freeman, Jimmy Rowles, Bob Gibbons, Joe Mondragon and Mel Lewis.
The titles: Just Squeeze Me, For You, Midnight Sun, You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To, The Folks Who Live on the Hill, I Didn’t Know About You, What Can I Say after I Say I’m Sorry, Dream of You, Imagination, S’posin’, Day Dream and I’ve Got the World on a String. These recordings are still available on her own label Corinthian, CD 108 “Jo + Jazz”. If you have it, or if you have the 1977 re-release on LP Corinthian 108 or even if you have the original Columbia CL 1591 release, you should listen to Day Dream. It’s marvellous.